Meet the Egyptian Artist Behind the Stunning Pharaonic Statues at AFCON 2019’s Opening Ceremony

The Africa Cup of Nations 2019 has finally started and Egypt stunned the world with the opening ceremony. The visuals and choreography left us all in awe. Yet, before we all witnessed greatness on our television screens, the tournament’s organising committee decided to remove the stunning statues made by Egyptian artist Hazem Torke.

A large statue of Anubis showed up on social media and soon everyone started joking about the presence of the ancient Egyptian god of death at Cairo Stadium. Shortly after the social media backlash, it was announced that the statue will be removed from the ceremony.

Via Ayah Hamouda

“The statue has been removed from the show. I spoke to the antiquities minister to ask about what the statue represents” the sports minister, Ashraf Sobhy, told Ahram Online on Thursday. “Using the statue was the choice of the international company tasked with organising the opening ceremony and they didn’t know his identity,” the minister added.

Via Hazem Torke Foam Art

Regardless of what the statue represents, the artwork is exquisite. Foam art guru, Hazem Torke, shared his work on social media for AFCoN 2019. The organizing company asked Torke to sculpt statues of four ancient Egyptian deities: Anubis, Set, Horus, and Bastet. In just eight days, Torke – along with his partner Waleed Gouda and five assistants – managed to finish the four-meter-long statues.

However, due to the leaked photo of Anubis on social media and the backlash, only three of the statues made it to the opening ceremony. During an interview on Sabah El Ward, the sculptor explained that it usually takes 10 days to finish a single statue and the exclusion of Anubis was disappointing due to the hard work involved.

Take a look at his meticulous artwork:

Via Hazem Torke Foam Art
Via Hazem Torke Foam Art
Via Hazem Torke Foam Art
Via Hazem Torke Foam Art
Via Hazem Torke Foam Art

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